Sunday, June 24, 2012

Quilting on a Sunday Morning

Gumdrops have always been one of those candies that I'm not sure why they make anymore. Sure, they look great on a gingerbread house at Christmastime, but who eats them? Not me.

But when I was chatting with Amanda, and she asked me to test her gumdrops pattern from Sunday Morning Quilts, of course I said yes. I had seen the quilt in person when I visited in February of last year and it was so appealing!

I jumped right in, with a color scheme that was "current," wanting to put my stamp on it. The pattern was very well written, undoubtedly, but my gumdrops in yellow on grey was a bit lackluster.

See what I mean? The cuteness of the gumdrops are completely lost with this uninspired color palette. What to do, what to do? (it wasn't helped by it's decidedly awkward size of 19" x 44," either). I stuck it on a shelf for a year waiting for inspiration to strike.

Rather than inspiration, it was a push from Amanda to talk about the pattern testers work on her blog that had me pulling it out again. I mean, my sweet friend links to my blog with some frequency, but this felt like it needed a solid effort on my part to participate!

Pillows, I was thinking, to which Amanda replied that it was no surprise. Turns out I'm not a big quilter, but quite the pillower.

They might no longer look like gumdrops, but in yellow I think that's okay. (And as it turns out, gumdrops from Whole Foods, just like to ones pictured on the quilt in the book, are pretty tasty.)

Finished, finally, and just in time to donate to a silent auction to benefit the High Park Fire victims. This wildfire is hitting close to home, it seems that we all know someone whose home was lost, or evacuated. 82,000 acres and still growing. It makes my heart hurt. Please pray for rain, we could really use it here in Colorado!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The View from the Cheap Seats

So, you might have heard that Amanda Jean and Cheryl wrote a book. It's really, really good. It is purportedly flying off the shelves. And I was lucky enough to go to Quilt Market in Kansas City to witness these two fantastic ladies in their element. It was a joy to watch.

Sunday Morning Quilts--book signing in the United Notions booth

Now, I didn't really have any business being there. But who was I to pass up the opportunity to be a fly on the wall? I drove out with the amazing Angela of Mama Said Sew, here in Fort Collins. If you live under a rock and haven't heard, the Sweetwater family of designers debuted their next fabric line, named after Ange's shop. That. Is. So. Stinking. Cool.

These ladies were so sweet(their design company is so aptly named!) and cute and I could have happily packed them up to take home with us. They're going to give Angela scraps to make some shop samples and I will gleefully go pick those up in Fort Morgan. It's possible that I'm the first person ever to have any level of excitement about traveling to that town!

Angela in the Sweetwater booth with Lisa and Susan
mama said sew candy--yum!

So I got to meet some pretty fantastic people. Jacquie Gehring of Tallgrass Prairie Studio was there promoting her new book, Quilting Modern. She pretty much rocks. I read her blog and see her quilts, and I always think that this is a woman who takes her art very seriously. She couldn't have been more charming and personable. We are in the planning stages, but she will be here in Fort Collins in August for a trunk show!

Rashida Coleman-Hale was there promoting Zakka Style and her fabric line, Washi. I might now be her biggest fan. She came to dinner with us on Saturday night as well as Rae of Made by Rae. It's pretty cool to have a friend like Amanda, because otherwise I wouldn't have rubbed my elbows raw hobnobbing with the cool kids!

Denyse Schmidt was there with her first ever market booth. She signed a copy of her book for me, and I shoved my phone in her face to show her my "eating in bed" quilt out of Flea Market Fancy. She was incredibly gracious about the whole thing. And I might have thanked her for coming just so we could stand in her presence. Tongue in cheek, of course. I'm anxiously awaiting Chicopee; she has such a great aesthetic that really resonates with me.

I was literally teary as I talked Angela into buying some(read: 12 bolts!) of Suzuko Koseki's prints for the shop from Yuwa. I could have happily spent all of her money in this single booth. I want to swim in it. I already have plans to make this dress out of the red Shasta daisy print as soon as it comes in. You can see pictures of all the prints that she's gonna carry here in my Flickr photostream!

Liberty of London is releasing a new line of quilting cottons that are gorgeous! We chose two of the five color ways. I'm so glad that Angela has good taste! And, if in the not too distant future, they release charm packs of their Tana Lawns, that was my idea. You can thank me later.

The Kokka booth was full to over flowing with eye candy! These texty penguins cracked me up! We got the new echinos, Melody Miller's new line and a bunch of other stuff that is drool worthy! Our timing at the Kokka booth coincided with Katy, Brioni, and Tascha walking by, so they stopped to help. They have good taste too.

And, while I'm a little late for the hexagon craze, I bought some hexy papers on our road trip and Amanda taught me how to English paper piece while standing in line for an hour waiting to eat some fantastic BBQ at Oklahoma Joe's. This will become a pillow, because I prefer to machine sew hexagons, but this technique rocks!

So, that's it folks. There is so much more to say, but others took more pictures, and I'm all out. Though you should all go read the story of how I touched David Butler's arm in a very "How I Met Your Mother" moment over on Jane'sJana's blog!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Technologically Inept

When I began blogging, I had a crappy camera and even crappier computer.  Not much has changed.  We got a new camera(with credit card points) that wasn't as crappy, I did okay for a while, and then last Christmas(2010) I got a new netbook.  I thought my problems were solved!

But then it was all about taking the pictures, downloading them, using my (awesome?) new computer with the little bitty screen, and somehow blogging fell through the cracks.  I didn't even have time to make things to blog about if I was going to try to blog too.  

And then I dropped my camera, and things went from bad to worse.  

 So, I worked really hard, and we saved our money, and, for Christmas last(2011), I was gifted a phone upgrade from the iPhone 3GS to the new iPhone 4S.  And we(I) got an iPad2. I felt like all the (quilt)blocks were falling into place for me be a blogger again!  ( I also highly reccomend the apple bluetooth keyboard!)

Until today, the iPad has been just a very expensive, larger version of my old phone.  Crappy camera, no easy way to upload photos, my phone seems just like the old one, but with a better camera.

Wait!  Better camera!  Way better camera! And so today I set out to make these "toys" work for me.  And they did...


Apps that I LOVE!!!:

Camera+(iPhone)--Uploads pics straight to flickr.  Also e-mails multiple pictures wickedly fast.  Grandma's around the world should gift this app.  Awesome.  Not to mention all of the great features it has.  I wish I had known about this before I got the new phone, it would have improved the old phone's camera too!

goodReader(iPad)--Allows me to upload my pdf patterns directly and has sweet features for hi-lighting, making notes, etc. I will probably use this more for knitting, but how awesome to have the pattern there for quilting too.  Print the necessary templates/pattern pieces and the rest is literally at your fingertips!  (I printed all 17 pages of Anna's 241 tote before reading the directions.  My print cartridges and my husband did not thank me.)

Blogsy(iPad)--So I mistakenly thought that I would be able to use photos from my photostream to blog from the iPad.  Not so.  And then when I painstakingly cut and pasted urls from my flicker photostream, that wasn't working either.  So ready to throw the expensive toy across the room.  That's when I got a glass of wine.  I thought to myself, what would Drew do?  So, I googled it.  And there it was.  Blogsy.  This will be only my second time using it.  But so far, it rocks my world.  I can drag photos from flicker into the exact place I want them(after a few tries, but that's the learning curve, I'm sure.)  I can choose from my really random array of 5 blogs(!?!)  It has a button to let me imbed Youtube video!!!  If I were so inclined.

 So here's some random pics from my photo stream.  I hope to be here more often.  I'll be really careful with my new tools. My blog has missed me, as I have missed it!

 36 patch apron, photo taken with the old phone!


 Add-a-border Swap Block for the Fort Collins Modern Quilt Guild, photo taken with the new phone!


 Playing with my Go! Baby fabric cutter for the first time.  Kinda liking it!  New phone photo!


 New-to-me vintage fabric goodies for my stash, which is growing at a rather alarming rate.  Must sew more to compensate.  And another new phone photo!  Love it!